This cartoon is unusual because, while it has the capability to exaggerate what/ whenever it wants, it’s not particularly fantastical. In typical comic fashion, the story is told through music that complements gestures and facial expressions rather than dialogue but not to accommodate talking animals or people bouncing around like a rubber balls. All the elements of design that would enhance any other kind of film are expertly utilized in this charming tour de force about a competitive French cyclist, who gets kidnapped and taken to New York City. His grandmother, who raised him sets out in search with her trusty dog in tow. The pair is taken in by an eccentric old trio of jazz musicians, who’ve been performing together since Vaudeville. The minimalist—and at times slightly abstract—style is a stark contrast to modern computer rendering but serves as the perfect medium for this story’s setting.
The very thing this gem has going for it is also its downfall, at least as far as marketing is concerned: its genre is unclassifiable. The closest comparison would be a musical, the likes of which have only been attempted during a few seconds of a TV ad. The score is the soundtrack is the playlist to which the main character listens throughout the movie. But rather than singing, choreography is the main draw. In fact, it’s practically a main character.
Everything from windshield wiper blades swiping to car doors slamming to gunshots firing is perfectly synched to the rhythm of the music. Be ready to immerse yourself in the story of a silent getaway driver the moment it starts (e.g. the lyrics of the opening song are visually incorporated into the scenery as graffiti, product labels, print ads, etc.). The style of this film is certainly clever but excellent acting coupled with the unique premise of unlikely partners in crime is what makes it thoroughly engaging.